Bessant named chair of  advisory committee

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cathy Bessant, chief operations and technology officer at Bank of America, has been named chair of the North Tryon Advisory Committee by a group of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County leaders.

Bessant will develop the strategies, timelines and resource needs to make the North Tryon Vision a reality. A consortium of nearly two dozen civic, business and government institutions is working to create and facilitate an innovative vision and implementation plan that will catalyze new development in the North Tryon area, the committee said. The North Tryon Vision Plan is a joint collaboration among the City of Charlotte, Foundation For The Carolinas and Charlotte Center City Partners focused on a 60-acre, 50-square-block district in Center City Charlotte. Mecklenburg County commissioners approved the North Tryon Vision Plan on Sept. 20, 2016, and Charlotte City Council approved the plan Jan. 9, 2017.

Bessant sports a strong resume, both professionally and civically. Among her achievements are being named 2006 Charlotte Woman of the Year, achieving a number three ranking on American Banker’s Most Powerful Women in Banking and being a recipient of North Carolina’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award.

At Bank of America, Bessant is executive sponsor for the company’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride employee network and LGBT Ally program, oversees diversity and inclusion forums and councils, and was the recipient of the 2013 Out & Equal Champion Award for advocating the equality of LGBTQ employees in the workplace.

In other news, Bessant was honored by the Charlotte Business Journal‘s Women in Business Awards program in March. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

This annual award “honors outstanding businesswomen from the region who have made significant contributions to their communities in the past year,” according to the publication.


Bus ride benefit upcoming

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Buff Faye’s 8th Annual St. Patty’s Get Lucky Party Bus will hit the streets on March 17, 8:15 p.m., from The Bar at 316, 316 Rensselaer Ave.

A fundraiser for Campus Pride, the benefit will tour around the Queen City with stops along the way at favorite “watering holes.” Free cover and VIP access are available at each stop. Drag queen companions will be on hand to satisfy “gold digging pleasures,” organizers said.

Check in early. The bus leaves at 8:15 p.m. sharp. Also, be responsible. Make arrangements for a designated driver or take an Uber or Lyft home.

Participants must be 21 and over and have a valid ID to ride and will have an opportunity to win over $250 in prizes.

Tickets are $35 online and $50 at the door. Seating is limited, so purchase quickly as space may be sold out up to or prior to the trip.


Queens hit Queen City

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Pardon Moi French’s Queens for the Cure will make a stop on its tour in the Queen City on March 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Chasers Nightclub, 3217 The Plaza.

Performers include Detox Icunt, Ivy Winters, Jade Jolie, Jiggly Caliente, Jinkx Monsoon, Manila Luzon, Sharon Needles And Victoria Parker.

General admission tickets are $29.50 and other packages are available for an extra charge and can be procured online.

The nine-city tour raises money for a variety of worthy causes. A portion of the Charlotte ticket sales will be donated to Campus Pride to help sustain its work.


Arts benefit announced

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Different Roads Home has announced that its inaugural Artstravaganza will be held on March 24, 7:30 p.m., at Le Méridien Charlotte, 555 S. McDowell St.

The benefit event will be co-hosted by Ramona Holloway and live music will be provided by Cindy Alexander. Local and national artists will be in attendance. A cash bar will be available.

Early bird tickets are $40 until March 24, $50/general admission and $75/VIP and are available online. Purchase includes a $25 bid credit, discount parking and butler-passed hors d’oeuvres.


Courthouse event set

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Justice Initiative will present Evening at the Courthouse on April 27, 6 p.m., at 832 E. Fourth St.

Guests will enjoy a sampling of cuisine from some Charlotte dining establishments along with music, a silent auction, and a live auction.

VIP tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available. Email to inquire.

To attend, RSVP online.

The organization brings business, civic and faith leaders together from across the state in recognizing that the efficient and effective administration of justice is essential to building strong, prosperous and vibrant communities. It welcomes them in advocating, supporting and advancing these truths.

Chapters have been established in Mecklenburg, Orange, Chatham and Buncombe Counties. They help to educate the public about the importance of the rule of law and the role a healthy court system plays in safeguarding a civilized society.


Church to relocate

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New Life Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) has announced that it is relocating its ministry from Charlotte, N.C. to Gastonia, N.C.

The church has been at its Plaza Midwood address since 1997, and at a special congregational meeting held on Feb. 12, the members of New Life unanimously voted to move from facilities shared with Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1900 The Plaza to facilities to be shared with All Saints Episcopal Church, 1201 S. New Hope Rd. in Gastonia.

Worship services are to continue on Sundays at 7 p.m. in Charlotte, as well as other functions through March 12 and thereafter at its new location. Its first Sunday service will be on March 19 at All Saints.

The official opening celebration at All Saints Episcopal will be held on April 2. It will include a covered dish dinner at 6 p.m., followed by the worship service at 7 p.m.

In announcing the relocation, New Life MCC pastor Rev. Dawn J. Flynn noted that the LGBTQ community in Gaston County currently is not being adequately served by local churches or other organizations. In contrast, in Charlotte every major religious denomination except the Pentecostals has at least one affirming congregation and there are a great number of other organizations serving a variety of subsets of the LGBTQ community. In Gastonia, New Life MCC intends to provide expanded religious, social and advocacy support to the work already being undertaken by PFLAG Gaston and Gaston Pride.

info: 704-334-0350.

School makes top 25 list

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The University of North Carolina at Charlotte was named to the list of the 25 Most Affordable LGBTQ-Friendly Online Colleges, SR Education Group reported.

Rankings were compiled using data from Campus Pride. Schools offer at least 15 online degree programs and scored three out of five stars or above on the Campus Pride Index, the university shared.


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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.